Title

Development of a clinical prediction rule for guiding treatment of a subgroup of patients with neck pain: Use of thoracic spine manipulation, exercise, and patient education

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2007

Abstract

Background and Purpose: To date, no studies have investigated the predictive validity of variables from the initial examination to identify patients with neck pain who are likely to benefit from thoracic spine thrust manipulation. The purpose of this study was to develop a clinical prediction rule (CPR) to identify patients with neck pain who are likely to experience early success from thoracic spine thrust manipulation. Subjects: This was a prospective, cohort study of patients with mechanical neck pain who were referred for physical therapy. Methods: Subjects underwent a standardized examination and then a series of thoracic spine thrust manipulation techniques. They were classified as having experienced a successful outcome at the second and third sessions based on their perceived recovery. Potential predictor variables were entered into a stepwise logistic regression model to determine the most accurate set of variables for prediction of treatment success. Results: Data for 78 subjects were included in the data analysis, of which 42 had a successful outcome. A CPR with 6 variables was identified. If 3 of the 6 variables (positive likelihood ratio=5.5) were present, the chance of experiencing a successful outcome improved from 54% to 86%. Discussion and Conclusion: The CPR provides the ability to a priori identify patients with neck pain who are likely to experience early success with thoracic spine thrust manipulation. However, future studies are necessary to validate the rule. © 2007 American Physical Therapy Association.

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